Ambassador: DANIELLE GARCIA
What does being a Kerrits Ambassador mean to you?
Being a Kerrits Ambassador means advocating and representing a brand who influenced my character in the equine industry to the best of my abilities. Using my social media presence as the Vice President for Region 2 in the Arabian Horse Youth Association which consists of over 500 members and 10 clubs, I hope to promote not only my experiences with Arabian breed, but my joy in being a part of the Kerrits community.
What are your passions as a rider and ambassador?
Coming from an under-resourced community, and a single parent, low- income household, I have much to be grateful for in the equine industry.Reflecting upon my time in the equine industry, I’ve come to realize that horses have been my most valuable teachers. It is in the barn surrounded by thousand pound animals that I, like many other young girls, have been given some of the best memories, lasting friendships, and opportunities to grow into the leaders of tomorrow.
At first, it might not seem like a thousand pound animal would be the best teacher of leadership skills; it is often intimidating to be in control of such a massive beast. However, through working with them, I have mastered confidence, teamwork, and empathy, which I instill in my mentees so they can flourish as equestrians and leaders.
It is because of the life lessons horses have taught me that I have been able to become the Vice President for Region 2 of the Arabian Horse Youth Association, received Reserve Champion recognition on the Southern California Youth Judging Team that competed at the US National Arabian Horse Show (amongst other awards), and served my community interning at Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles Zoo, and in my own high school as the senator for my class.
I hope to further develop my skills as an equestrian as it is due to being one, that I have learned that leadership is not synonymous with seniority and requires no title. After all, horses don’t care what your title is, they refuse to respond to someone who is unnecessarily demanding. A leader is a person who can acknowledge that learning never stops, and can use their strengths to facilitate the growth of others, and that is exactly what I plan on doing.
What is your connection to Kerrits?
For years riding was inaccessible to me. My lack of resources fronted me with no place to pursue my passions. I started my journey at a non-profit organization where I showed up in Forever 21 jeans, sneakers, and my freshly washed hair, ready to tackle any task thrown my way. There I quickly learned that sneakers needed to be swapped for boots, jeans for breeches, and that hair needed to go up in a helmet, in order to be safe around horses. I was forced to share old boots and helmets with the 500 other girls the program served and I was happy to do so if it meant I got to ride a horse.
Through my work at the nonprofit, I gained connections with neighboring barns and obtained my first paying job. After having torn through several pairs of jeans and watching other riders in their fancy tall boots and sun shirts I decided to do something about my wardrobe.
I realized that in order to be taken seriously, I needed to dress the part. Kerrits was the first brand that made me feel like a part of the herd. I still remember the sense of confidence when wearing my first pair of black ice fil tech tights. Walking in the store with the money I had earned in the equine industry , walking straight for the rack with Kerrits breeches on it and never looking back was a stepping stone to the achievements I have made in the "horse world".